What To Do In A Gas Leak
Should you smell gas or suspect there has been a leak of other fumes such as carbon monoxide you should call the free 24 hour national emergency number on 0800 111 999 immediately. It is the responsibility of your gas distributor to make your property safe but the following will outline what precautions you should take after you have called 0800 111 999 and then what steps need to be taken after the engineer has visited.
If you are able to smell gas then please ensure you follow these steps:
- Call the national emergency number on 0800 111 999
- Do not use your mobile phone to make this call if you are in the property where there is a suspected gas leak. If your only option is to use a mobile phone then make the call either outside or in a neighbouring property
- Open all doors and windows
- Never use matches, lighters or any other type of naked flame
- Do not smoke
- Do not switch any electrical appliances on or off, this includes doorbells and lights
- Ensure that the gas supply to any appliances has not been left on and that the pilot light on any boilers has not gone out
- If you know how to and feel comfortable doing it then turn off the gas supply at the meter
It is not your responsibility to fix any gas leaks at your property, this is the responsibility or your gas distributor and once you have reported the leak through the national emergency number they will visit your property free of charge. Make sure the engineer is a Gas Safe registered engineer and request to see the necessary documentation confirming this.
If the leak is in a domestic property they may be able to make it safe by switching off the gas supply. Provided they are able to the gas engineer will fix the leak there and then, if not they will isolate the faulty appliance and switch the gas back on if it is safe to do so.
Once the engineer has completed all the work they are able to they will leave all the relevant information concerning who to contact should any repairs need to be made. If the fault is with the distribution company and you are left without gas for more than 24 hours you will be entitled to compensation. You will need to contact your supplier should this apply to you.
A carbon monoxide leak is just as dangerous as a natural gas leak, though it is not combustible like natural gas it is poisonous and restricts your bloods ability to transport oxygen around your body. However, it is much more difficult to notice as carbon monoxide is colourless and odourless but there are indicators to look out for:
- Flames on gas appliances burn orange or yellow instead of blue
- There is undue condensation on your windows
- There is visible soot or a scorched look on any gas appliances
- The pilot light on any of your boilers frequently goes out
- The easiet possible way is to invest in a carbon monoxide detector, the Gas Safe Register states the following on their website:
- “Gas Safe Register recommends the use of audible carbon monoxide alarms. It should be marked to EN 50291 and also have the British Standards’ Kitemark or another European approval organisation’s mark on it. CO alarms usually have a battery life of up to 5 years. Fit an alarm in each room with a gas appliance. Always follow the alarm manufacturer’s instructions on siting, testing and replacing the alarm. Do not use the ‘black spot’ detectors that change colour when carbon monoxide is present, they don’t make a sound. It is important to choose an alarm that will wake you up if you’re asleep, or you may not be aware of early CO symptoms until it is too late.”
If you suspect there is a carbon monoxide leak or your carbon monoxide alarm has alerted you to one then you must:
- Leave the property immediately
- Call national emergency number on 0800 111 999
- If any from the property is displaying any of the following symptoms seek urgent medical attention as they may be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning:
- loss of consciousness
- Turn off any appliances and do not switch them back on until they have been checked
- Ensure that any and all repairs are completed by a Gas Safe registered engineer
Following these steps will help to ensure the safety of anyone at a property affected by either a natural gas leak or carbon monoxide leak. As a matter of precaution make sure the national emergency number is kept somewhere prominent in the property so that it can be found by anyone in the event of any kind of leak and that any residents or employees at the property are aware of the above.